Gaming History: A Framework for What Video Games Teach About the Past

Scott Alan Metzger, Richard J. Paxton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


This article offers a typological framework for analyzing how video games make use of historical elements, shaping the ways players engage with and think about the past. Phenomenologically induced labels are posited for identifying different deployments of and experiences with historical elements in video games, illustrated by examples drawn from analysis of selected historically oriented, situated, or themed commercial video games. Building on the literature of gaming, popular media, and history education, the authors theorize specifically about the interactions between game design, player response, historical thinking, and historical representations encountered in video games. The goal is to develop vocabulary useful to researchers and educators that attends to the interface between school-based history learning and the extra-curricular influence of video games.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)532-564
Number of pages33
JournalTheory and Research in Social Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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